Money: The way ahead to drive down the cost of car insurance

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IF car insurance costs are causing you a headache, there may be ways you can shave money off the quotes you’re offered.

Matt Oliver, from GoCompare Car Insurance, says these seven tricks could potentially save a packet.

“While the amount people could save from each of these car insurance hacks will vary based on their circumstances,” he notes, “people should know that it can really pay to get engaged when it comes to their insurance.”

Use the right job title

Your occupation is one of the major pieces of information insurers use to work out your premium. Some occupations are viewed as more “risky” than others.

In some cases, there may be more than one job title on a pre-defined list that accurately describes what you do – and you could make some significant savings.

For example, someone describing themselves as a chef may find their average quote could be as much as £88 higher than if they selected kitchen staff, GoCompare found. But always make sure you are honest – or you could invalidate your cover.

Even if you’re not in full-time work, you need to be crystal clear about your role. If you’re a full-time parent, retired, or studying full-time, be sure to select those titles rather than unemployed.

Add an experienced driver to your policy

While new or younger drivers are likely to see the biggest savings, this can also apply to more experienced drivers. But be aware of “fronting”, which is illegal. This can happen when someone less experienced claims they are the additional driver when actually they are the main or sole user.

Buy in advance

It pays to get on the front foot and buy your insurance as early as possible.On average, car insurance is around £76 cheaper if bought a week before its start date, the research found.

Pay annually

Although paying monthly can be convenient, making your payment annually could potentially save around £120.

Consider ditching the extras

Think about whether you really need added insurance extras and whether you may already have sufficient cover from another source. Weigh up whether you need legal assistance, the option of a courtesy car and windscreen cover.

Shop around

Do this to get the right deal for you, but also remember the cheapest deal isn’t necessarily the most suitable – make sure it fits your particular needs.

Consider a black box

Telematics or “black box” insurance allows you to have your insurance premium based on your actual driving, which means if you can prove you’re a good driver, you could save hundreds of pounds compared to a traditional policy.

This can particularly help young drivers who tend to pay more for their insurance.